Massachusetts Climate Czar David Ismay Also Caught Saying He Wants To Harm the Fishing Industry

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David Ismay is under fire again for yet another remark he made during a Zoom call appearance January 25 with the Vermont Climate Council.

Ismay, the undersecretary for Climate Change under Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, told the group that “something has to give” in regard to the state’s fishing industry, according to yet another video segment released by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

Ismay said he supports wind energy and he sees an inherent conflict between expanding wind power and the fishing industry, as the both use the ocean. Fishermen have complained that wind turbines in the ocean may disrupt migration patterns and harm fishing.

“We need offshore wind, and yes there is fishing out in the ocean too, but you know, there’s, we can’t have no offshore wind, no transmission, no solar, and have clean energy,” Ismay told the panel in the video now posted on on YouTube. “Right. Something has to give …”

Last month Baker signed an economic development bill into law that originally included a commission that would study the “impacts of offshore wind energy infrastructure on marine fisheries including effects of such installations and connections on the health and behavior of marine mammals.” However, that section was removed by conference committee, as MassFiscal points out.

Ismay made the comment about fishing during the same meeting January 25 in which he said government officials must “turn the screws on” and “break their will” when it comes to ordinary residents to get them to stop emitting carbon. The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance also publicized that statement, by releasing a video segment last week.

Ismay’s fishing comment earned condemnation from Paul Craney, spokesman for MassFiscal.

“Ismay’s more recent comments toward the fishing industry are ‘fishy’ at best,” Craney said. “The legislature recently removed from legislation language that would help us learn what a large-scale wind farm would do to the region’s fishing industry and Ismay’s comments verify what we all feared.”

“Ismay’s comments that ‘something has to give’ should be seen as a warning for the fishing community that their livelihood may be jeopardized by these megaprojects,” he added. “It’s unfortunate that Governor Baker embraces such far reaching climate policies that are bound to have significant economic costs to our state’s fishing industry.”

Publicizing of the fishing comments comes after a bipartisan group of eight state representatives sent a letter to Governor Baker calling on him to fire Ismay. That letter came in response to the “break their will” comment.

During the Zoom call, Ismay said:  “So let me say that again, 60 percent of our emissions that need to be reduced come from you, the person across the street, the senior on fixed income, right … there is no bad guy left, at least in Massachusetts to point the finger at, to turn the screws on, and you know, to break their will, so they stop emitting. That’s you. We have to break your will. Right, I can’t even say that publicly ….”

That “60 percent of our emissions,” he said, comes from residential heating and passenger vehicles.

Ismay and the press office for Charlie Baker could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.